This article was contributed to this blog by Dan Faggella. Dan studied skill
development at the University of Pennsylvania, and went on to win the No Gi Pan Ams.
Learn from the insights he gained by studying with skill development experts and BJJ
world champions by following this link here:
If you’ve read my work, then by now there are a few things you probably have
picked up on about my writing: I LOVE leg locks of any kind, and I love to talk
about sneaky transitions that take your opponent by surprise.
In the past I’ve broken down some tricky setups from the likes of Eddie Bravo
and even touched upon some heel hook from bottom mount stuf that I’ve
discussed with my students. Today, we’ll stay in the same lane and discuss a
leg lock setup when we ﬁnd our self stuck in our opponents closed guard.
Be Quick & Effective
In this breakdown, before we get into it, keep in mind the above title of being
quick and effective. There are certain setups that, even when cloaked in
secrecy, have a certain tell about them that give your opponent a hint at what
you are planning to throw at them. Just keep that in mind.
• We’re stuck in our opponents closed guard and just can’t break free. We
have our eye on the leg lock, but we have to break the guard ﬁrst.
• They will likely break our posture. What we want to do is create space by
pushing of of their armpits and driving our legs backwards, almost as if
we are standing up.
• Realigning our leg, we now sit backwards which allows our knee to slide
through and break the guard.
• Standing up again, we want to fall back this time looking for the leg lock.
This gets tricky because as we fall, we want to make sure our submission
side leg passed over the top of the leg we are isolating, and ﬁrmly plants
• We should now be of on our hip. Being to press his knee into your
bottom knee, and while doing so, lace your arm underneath the leg and
apply your grips.
• The hold should be deep on their ankle and not near their calf. This will
make for a much tighter hold.
• Squeeze your legs, rotate towards the mat and get the ﬁnish.
A key aspect to this move is our feet at various points. When we look to break
his guard, our feet come into play because as we stand up, if we aren’t careful
then they can easily reach up and snag us in a leg lock and that just isn’t a fun
Another vital foot placement moment is when we fall back to isolate the leg.
Passing our foot over their leg onto the hip, and our other sneaks under their
buttocks, we can now use their hips and torso as something to post of of to
help add extra torque to the hold. Baseball players use the ground to add force
to their swing, basketball players use the court for their initial force, BJJ players
use the other human.
I’ll toss the video down below for you to check out and go over. Enjoy it!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOCKWETKTE8 <<– Watch Technique Here
Dan is a No Gi Pan Am champion and #1 Bestselling Martial Arts Author on
Amazon. He blogs at www.ScienceofSkill.com.
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